active 3 weeks ago
active 3 weeks ago
  • Clint replied to the topic How to get rid of rats? in the forum General Chat 3 weeks ago

    Presuming the trap is a cage trap of some sort, try Nutella (other similar brands are available!) on the treadle.

    Drowning the rat could potentially end up with you in court under the animal welfare act 2006. Possibly, technically.

    If you don’t have an air weapon to shoot it, I would suggest cranial dispatch.

    Ironically, in my opinion, if you plan on using a humane (cage type) trap it is only humane if you release the creature afterwards. If you plan on killing it, why subject it to being held in a cage trap and then finding an acceptable method to kill it? Presuming you can 100% avoid by-catch of other species, if not, cage trap and cranial dispatch or shooting.

    My views.

  • to answer ops question walking
    3.delivering cars to showrooms via companies like greenhaus
    4. any agency work you are capable of such as bar work, cleaning
    5. carer for old folk at the weekend
    6. gardening

  • Clint replied to the topic Best keyboard cleaners? in the forum General Chat 1 month ago

    These germy types annoy me. Maybe leave some hand sanitiser and a print -out about the importance of hand cleanliness on your desk for him to peruse

  • Clint replied to the topic Best smart meters? in the forum General Chat 1 month, 1 week ago

    As I understand it, the Smart Meter is owned by your energy provider (but paid for by slightly higher bills for all their customers – whether you opt in or not), and in the event you change supplier that device is bought by your new supplier and stays in your home.

    So as long as the device is compatible, you won’t have to do a thing when changing suppliers. OfGem have set out guidelines for how smart meters should operate, and there are only one or two (already compatible) designs in use at the moment anyway.

    In the unlikely event your new supplier cannot use the existing smart meter, it will either revert to a ‘dumb’ meter (as said above, losing you nothing), or they will send you a new one and remove your old one – it is in their interest to do so, and minimises faff for…[Read more]

  • Clint replied to the topic Drawdown Pensions. in the forum General Chat 1 month, 3 weeks ago

    I left most of my money in my original scheme and took a 25% lump sum tax free plus my personal allowance for that year as I wouldn’t have any other income.

    The next year I took my personal allowance tax free and continued to do this every tax year until I’d had all my money.

    This worked for me because my withdrawals were my only source of income and I didn’t have more than 5 years worth of money to take.

    So sort of a drawdown pension but staying with the original provider.

  • Clint posted a new activity comment 2 months ago

    That’s assuming you manage get an “Oxbridge” degree of course, the chances of that will no doubt bear heavily of whether to apply to Oxbridge or Love Island…

  • Clint posted a new activity comment 2 months ago

    Let’s see now, which is going to be most attractive?

    The chance to spend a few weeks on an island with a bunch of (superficially,) attractive randy people, getting paid for doing it, with the knock on effect of Warholian 15 minutes.


    Studying your arse off for a few years with the chance of paying a small fortune to study your arse off some more, with no guarantee of reward at the end of it?

    People need to be told which would be the most attractive option to the general public?

    Mind you, this and the other thread has given the cogniscenti here the chance to look down their nose at “love island” participants and fans.

    • I’m really proud of my younger cousin who went to Cambridge (he’s tackling finishing his PHD at the mo), but I basically agree. On the other hand, I was a little bit sad that Ellen MacArthur became a national hero in France (thanks to her French sponsor meaning she came to be noticed there) when she didn’t become one here during her sailing exploits, with her actually coming from the UK. It set me wondering about what is promoted as being worthwhile here, what is considered worth putting on the news and TV channels and in other media (IIRC the celebrity Jordan was more noticeable at the time). I don’t think it says anything at all that fewer people have applied to Oxford than Love Island, though, I think that’s just a convenient way for some people to look down their noses at who…[Read more]

      • Maybe you’re part of the problem if you feel that Ellen MacArthur didn’t get due recognition in the UK?

        The media that thrives is the media that we choose to use and take notice of. Even though sailing is way outside my range of sporting interests I was somehow very aware of her exploits.

      • My memory is that Ellen MacArthur was massively famous at the time, though maybe she got even more coverage in the East Midlands. On the same thread though, I do remember Tony Bullimore (clearly a very brave and formidable man) becoming hugely famous in the UK for being rescued, while in France, Pete Goss got the acclaim for actually doing the rescuing.

        Back on the subject, I think state schools do fail to encourage pupils that Oxbridge is possible. My daughter goes to one of the better state schools and is predicted three As (not A*s), but has basically been discouraged by the school who have identified their 8 (and only 8) great hopes.

        • mutt replied 2 months ago

          That’s because A* is the new A, and lots of people get them. Having said that, she’s only 1 grade out and if it’s technically possible for her to get A*s then she should be allowed to apply.

          • yes, I know A* is now the top, even so for her course the required grades are A*AA, so she’s not far away. And the school can’t prevent her applying. But the point I was making was that even at a very high performing state school they are discouraging one of their better students from thinking Oxford is for them. This means that for many subjects, courses at the next tier of universities are more oversubscribed than oxbridge.

    • Adam replied 2 months ago

      You are wrong. A piece of paper with “Oxbridge Degree” written on it rightly or wrongly opens many doors which a piece of paper with just “Degree” written on it does not.

      • That’s assuming you manage get an “Oxbridge” degree of course, the chances of that will no doubt bear heavily of whether to apply to Oxbridge or Love Island…

      • @adam This observation is certainly true in many circumstances, like shortlisting cvs in some professions. But the favoritism would, at least in part, be recognized for the extra mile that many Oxbridge graduates are prepared to undergo to meet their objectives. A place at Oxbridge denotes a combination of objective setting and hard work that is prized across many walks of life.

        But I’d say that the greater advantage an Oxbridge education bestows is not that doors are opened for you. No, after battling through the experience, it’s that you never fear you cannot contend with what is on the other side of the door. And that is priceless.

        • Adam replied 2 months ago

          >This observation is certainly true in many circumstances, like shortlisting cvs in some professions. But the favoritism would, at least in part, be recognized for the extra mile that many Oxbridge graduates are prepared to undergo to meet their objectives. A place at Oxbridge denotes a combination of objective setting and hard work that is prized across many walks of life.

          If you are saying that an Oxbridge degree primarily indicates the achievement in getting there in the first place then I agree, though obviously, that will often be partly due to the support is given at school and at home. I certainly worked extremely hard for my place at Cambridge, though it didn’t really seem like work at the time because, for me, spending a large proportion of my time practicing the sort of…[Read more]

          • Your description of the academic aspect certainly resonates with my recollection (and my daughter’s current travails at Cambridge). However, you present your “brilliant survivors” as the winners in the Oxbridge environment. My experience was of being surrounded by a thousand very able, very ambitious peers for whom the academic tasks were a tiresome distraction from the business of transitioning to adulthood. Those aiming for nothing more than a first class degree were the losers in most eyes!

            It’s a matter of objectives and expectations. You were very probably more interested in your chosen subject than I was. I opted for modern languages, over other subjects at which I was more adept, primarily on the basis that the workload was relatively light. The achievement of a place w…[Read more]

          • Adam replied 2 months ago

            My problem was that I had to work really hard just to keep my head above water (lectures each morning then most of the rest of the day, often into the small hours, struggling desperately to understand my notes) and, far from aiming for a first, I ended up, after three years, more or less relying on some doable questions on seismic waves (!) to come up in the exam to get a degree at all (I felt near break down and almost thinking of packing it in half way through my final year). The result was that I made nothing at all of university life and lived a Jekyll and Hyde existence, hermit like in my room most of the week and just about staying sane by escaping to go climbing for a day or two at the weekends – and Cambridge is a pretty rubbish location to be a climber, though my escapist…[Read more]

      • @adam I suspect the difference in your experience to that of other posters is subject. Maths and physics simply are harder and require more work than modern languages or PPE, and that would be true at other universities as well.

        • I made a similar observation earlier and the awareness that the sciences required more hours of “compulsory” study did steer me away from Chemistry towards Languages. But science is not harder than the humanities. Once intractable maths and science problems are being solved all the time, yet a comprehensive understanding of the human condition (philosophy and literature) or influencing and predicting behaviour (politics and economics) eludes us still.

          • You can argue that this is true for the subjects, but studying sciences is definitely harder than studying humanities, if only because understanding of a subject can be tested without ambiguity. You do not get far by providing your own “interpretation” of a maths or biology problem!

          • @songbird How does having a better definition of the correct answer make a subject harder? If anything that should single out the sciences as easier. Not that I’m making that argument since I’ve already observed that the sciences very obviously impose a greater compulsory workload.

            In literature or philosophy you are probing the mind of the author/philosopher, often from a distance of many centuries, to elicit his/her take on the great questions of life, mostly dealing with love and death, but also conflict, betrayal, lust and power. But you are obliged in that process to confront those questions yourself and blend your modern interpretation with the original, then present a case, as a barrister might, for rebuttal by a tutor or examiner, who not only understands the subject bet…[Read more]

          • Being able to clearly distinguish correct and wrong answers in an exam leaves much less wiggle room for the student, no chance of getting by with some waffling and a good sales pitch! It is, therefore, possible to test a much larger body of knowledge in any given exam.

            I guess you will find that most science questions also do not simply ask for recalling material. Ideally, I want to know whether a student has understood the underlying concepts and can, therefore, apply them to a problem at hand. The regurgitating exams exist, but I would class them as simply lazy or even bad teaching practice!

          • Luke replied 2 months ago

            “The regurgitating exams exist, but I would class them as simply lazy or even bad teaching practice!”

            I agree entirely. I don’t know about over in Germany (?) but here in the UK rote learning and regurgitation of formula keyed through Pavlovian training with certain question styles seems to the the main outcome of A-level sylibii and teaching.

            Kids talk about the “suvat equations”. Putting asside my distaste about the non-acronym nature of the name, or the use of arbitrarily chosen variables to yield the name, it distressed me that they think of “s=ut+1/2at^2” et al as physics, and of bunging numbers in as doing physics. They are solutions to the equations of motion under certain rigid constraints. They should be learning the equations of motion and how to solve them, not…[Read more]

          • logi replied 2 months ago

            @ratface There’s also a lot of variation within the sciences. I started studying chemistry at university where there seemed to be usually be one single correct answer but for a variety of reasons dropped out of university for a while (ironically to get a job as a lab technician based on my chemistry skills). I later went back to study biology, mostly plant ecology, where often there is no single answer & its often a case of considering alternatives and justifying a choice. I found that much more satisfying than chemistry (a bit like you I suspect). All a long time ago but I still remember one question for our finals general paper – “Skin – the perfect wrapping ?” difficult to prepare for that & similar questions other than to have a good knowledge of the subject.

        • Adam replied 2 months ago

          That may be true, but, by all accounts the Cambridge Maths course was (and probably still is) exceptionally demanding and fast paced. What’s more, you could be good enough to get in and then three years hard work later you could understand your stuff and still potentially be unable to do any questions in your finals – there were no questions just testing basic understanding, incomplete answers got very little credit and all the questions were hard. So you could end up with nothing while others who wouldn’t have considered applying to Cambridge got firsts at other good universities. It was incredibly demoralising for many. A friend seriously considered doing an Open University Maths degree afterwards just to regain some self respect academically (something I might even do in…[Read more]

        • Adam replied 2 months ago

          > Maths and physics simply are harder and require more work than modern languages or PPE.

          Except for the truly brilliant few (and there were certainly some at Cambridge!) for whom the Maths course was apparently effortless. And unlike brilliant physicists, they didn’t have to do lab stuff and unlike brilliant humanities students, they didn’t have to read books and write essays.

  • Clint posted a new activity comment 2 months, 1 week ago

    I’ve read that he doesn’t see western stability and unity being in Russia’s interests.

    • The latest bad news of course are the imminent trade wars, initiated (or so it seems on the surface) by one D. Trump.

      It’s wrong to speculate but as you get jaded by each new revelation you do begin to wonder if it’s Moscow that is pulling the strings.

  • They have their uses – I bought my car on one of them, but I was lucky enough to get a very good deal on it. Paid the finance for the minimum term I had to, then paid off the balance on an interest-free credit card. I now own it outright and will probably do what I usually do – run it until it gets too expensive to maintain and then get a newer one.

    My wife has just opted out of the company car scheme and bought a car on PCP using her car allowance – doing this should actually save us a few thousand compared to the company car. When she last changed from a private car to the company one, she actually made a profit by paying off the bubble and then selling it to another dealer.

    But overall, no, I don’t like the principle and I agree with redders above.

  • I think the argument for legalising drugs is sound and a lot of politicians agree. But it will be a brave political party who suggests it, knocking on doors of middle class suburbs or crime ridden inner city estates saying you intend to legalise heroin raises some interesting images of likely responses.

  • They can charge what they like, doesnt mean you have to pay.

  • A lot of the problem, imo, with grammar schools is that they don’t suit all the children who go to them. Many of the children who are coached intensively to be able to pass their 11+, because of parental aspiration, struggle when they no longer have access to that intensive input. They cannot cope with the type of learning which is expected of them day in, day out. They are no longer expected to just remember and regurgitate facts (despite what Gove thinks!) but to use their own initiative. Pupils at grammar schools are expected to be high achievers in all aspects of the curriculum, which is not often true of many pupils, most of us have aptitude in particular areas. AFAIK (and I am not in an area with state grammar schools), there is very little movement into these schools after…[Read more]

  • Clint replied to the topic Old vs new boilers in the forum General Chat 3 months, 2 weeks ago

    Unless it’s burning gas like an oil rig flare, I’d leave it.
    Mine is getting on for 20 years old now, it’s not the best efficiency wise, but I can’t justify the cost of a new high efficiency one. I just don’t have the heating on as much, especially now I’ve got my wood burner.

  • Clint replied to the topic Ethical banking in the forum General Chat 3 months, 3 weeks ago

    Yes, they rank the ‘ethical’ funds. Some score as low as 3 out of 20!

  • Clint replied to the topic Ethical banking in the forum General Chat 3 months, 3 weeks ago

    They get the bottom rating as a bank in 17 of the categories. In the supermarket study, Asda scores zero. Best to check out the website to be honest for detail, but you could probably guess a few.

  • Clint replied to the topic Ethical banking in the forum General Chat 3 months, 3 weeks ago

    If you haven’t come across ethical consumer before, I don’t think I could do it justice on here, but you can google them and get access to a bit of info without a subscription. They have 20 criteria on which they make their judgements, which range across the spectrum….eg human rights, factory farming, use of palm oil, workers rights, irresponsible marketing, anti social finance, product sustainability, arms supply, animal testing, climate change, excessive pay to directors etc. Some issues are better than others but I particularly like the supermarket and the latest banking/investment study. Barclays lending money to exploiters of tar sands for example, would lose them a point. A company which pays the living wage would gain them a point.

  • Clint started the topic Ethical banking in the forum General Chat 3 months, 3 weeks ago

    The latest ethical consumer magazine is devoted to ethical banking and investments. It makes for interesting reading. At the top of the list are Triodos, and then all the building societies which score between 12.5 and 16.5 out of 20. Working up from the bottom we have Tesco bank, M and S money, RBS, Nat West, between 0.5 and 3, and others such as Lloyds/Halifax scoring 5. Quite a good message moving your bank account.

  • Clint changed their profile picture 3 months, 3 weeks ago